​Success is measured in different ways. For instance, in the app world success can be measured with the number of downloads and more recently by the number of active users. Mobile apps such as Facebook or Instagram have millions of active users, whereas, something as common as an alarm clock app might have a few thousand active users but almost every user has the ‘Clock’ app in their smart phones.
Let’s take a look at a few case studies for us to understand the great mobile apps and why they’re so successful. 

There are more than 11 million people who have downloaded the Starbucks app and about 21% of Starbuck transactions are done via the mobile app. So, how did they manage to get so many users?

Reference: https://www.retaildive.com/ex/mobilecommercedaily/elevated-foot-traffic-means-higher-mobile-order-pay-usage-for-starbucks

Special offers: Starbucks offered their customers free gifts such as discount coupons, birthday gifts and complimentary beverages. They engaged their customers by offering free stuff and their strategy worked!

Loyalty program: This strategy not only helped gain loyal customers but also provided Starbucks with their customer’s data. They obtained the record of their customer’s buying behavior and their favorite beverages. Every time a customer bought a drink, they get a star. On collecting a certain amount of stars, they can redeem them for more prizes and benefits.

Mobile order and pay: This feature is more for the convenience of the customer and the cashier. Isn’t it wonderful if you could pre-order your drink during the rush hours and quickly collect it from the counter instead of standing in that ridiculous long line? The mobile ‘Order and Pay’ option allows you to do exactly that!


Amazon has definitely made its mark in the e-commerce industry. The app apart from being a trustworthy retailer has also made a presence in m-commerce. It is fairly basic but very few retailers have mobile optimized sites that don’t hang up or have too many bugs. As per research, 80% of brands don’t have mobile sites.
Reference source: https://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/10111-is-your-mobile-strategy-fit-for-purpose

Easy purchases: Amazon makes it really simple for the users to purchase an item. Shoppers have an option to save their card details and address which are given access to only if the shopper logs in with his/her user name and password. These details make it less cumbersome for the users as they just need to choose their item and click Pay.

First come, first serve: Amazon was one of the early m-commerce app. Since, it was early in the market, the app developers got a lot of time to implement feedback and keep updating the app for better user experience.

Big calls-to-action: Once the shoppers choose their required product, the checkout should be done immediately. There should be a sense of urgency, for instance, Amazon ticks all the required boxes and directs you immediately to the next step: ‘Buy Now’.
Predictive search: Just like Google, Amazon offers predictive search across all its platforms. It’s very convenient if the platform can predict your search on the basis of your previous search, hence saving time of the user. It also helps correct spelling mistakes which also helps with the correct search results.

Optimization on all platforms: Amazon has it’s app for both Android and iOS users, as well as Blackberry and Windows Phone. This helps them reach all their customers that use a smart phone and improves the user experience.

Personal touch: Whether, you are on app or a mobile site, once you log in, Amazon welcomes you by name. It also showcases the items that you have searched for in the past in the ‘Wishlist’ column. It also recommends products based on shopper’s interest and previous search history. These searches and prompts give shoppers a shortcut to items that they are looking for and encourages impulse purchases. 


 We all know that Facebook is a giant app where millions of users are logged in from around the world. Facebook gathered its customer base when they launched on desktops but as technology developed, they knew that they needed to build a mobile app for their users.
The initial few versions of the Facebook app had limited features but they realized that they soon needed to be in par with their user’s expectations. Once they started paying attention to speed and space, the users for the app increased with frequent check-ins. With regards to space, they made the app look bigger with a better UI.
Through Facebook we can learn the importance of testing and then analyzing and interpreting data before making changes. Their testing is built straight into the app.


All the apps mentioned here are all large companies that can invest heavily into the product; there are a few key takeaways for the small or mid-sized apps. There is a lot that can be learnt from these apps to improve your own app. A well-designed UI, predictable search engine, user benefits/goodies, dependability, and authentic reviews are some of the important features that should be applied to your app to make them successful! 

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